Learning to drive is a huge milestone in the step to growing up and becoming more independent. Admittedly, it comes with it’s fair share of expense but I think the pay off is definitely worth it.
I remember some of my friends getting their license while studying for A-levels, and getting their first car. The freedom that comes with that is amazing – but I didn’t start my driving journey at that time. At the time, my parents discouraged me from learning because of the cost of lessons. They felt they was no rush to get it done and that I could just learn any time in future if I did need to drive.
Meanwhile, I went off to university in London and hardly thought about driving at all. Living in Kings Cross, I was pretty handy for the tube and many bus routes and since using public transport is more common in Central London I barely gave it another thought.
The years went by and after graduation I was still living in central London, and quickly had a troupe of kids to keep me busy. Taking the buggy (and then the double buggy) on the tube and buses was a pain, but it’s what everyone does so I just got on with it.
But then, when our 3rd baby was born we realised that we needed to move out from the centre of London, and we bought a house in Zone 6. Suddenly the public transport I had always relied on was way more scarce, and there comes my driving regret: I wish I had learned when I was 17.
I started lessons, but so far haven’t been lucky with passing my test. It’s well known that it takes longer to learn the older you get, and I feel sure that this would have been easier if I had started ten years ago.
I am determined that when my boys reach 17 years old, I will get them to start their driving lessons straight away and push them to keep it up until they pass. Even if they don’t need to buy a car straight away, at least the test has been passed and hassle saved for later in life.
If they do want a car straight away, then we can look at MORE TH>N’s Young Driver Insurance with telematics to keep the costs down. This is where you have a black box fitted within the car to monitor your driving style. If you drive smoothly and within the speed limit, then you will be rewarded with a discount on your insurance. As a parent, this is quite reassuring to have in your offspring’s car anyway so that you know they are monitored and going to be careful and driving properly rather racing in the roads.
Passing the test is not going to get easier the longer it’s left, and at 17 they don’t have as many responsibilities and distractions and won’t need to arrange childcare for their driving lessons or any of the other hurdles we have when learning to drive as an adult – so I’ll definitely make sure that my kids don’t repeat my mistake.
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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.